Monday, March 14, 2011
She blinded me with makeup
1) The song begins telling a story about Labor Day weekend. Since Tim is from Louisiana, I'll assume that his Labor Days are similar to mine... hot. So then he talks about having a BBQ stain on his white T-shirt, what I'm imagining is a kid who is 17, who is a little overweight with a messy stain on his "wife beater" a-shirt, which most people incorrectly refer to as a "t-shirt", and since this is a song by a country artist I'm assuming they're not going for literal interpretation (in addition to, I don't know of anyone whose ever referred to one of those as an a-shirt in my presence). So that just conjures up a bad image, an overweight kid with a stain on his a-shirt outside all day in a hot humid environment...gross.
2) "She had a suntan line and red lipstick." What I visualize when I hear this line is a girl wearing a halter top who has a bikini tan line...and she's normally a fairly pale color (as the people from north Louisiana are), but this "suntan" is actually more of a sunburn, and she's quite pinkish and approaching reddish. She will not feel well tonight or tomorrow, and she's going to use a lot of aloe and she'll still feel sick and will begin to peel in a few days. Not to mention the future damage she's doing...she's likely a good candidate for skin cancer...but we'll save that for a different comment session. So anyway, in addition to the excessive sun she's gotten, she's also heavily made up (which is what the "red lipstick" causes me to visualize).
She's also around age 17 (which I'll admit is an assumption based on her willingness to associate with/kiss a slovenly sloppy sweaty bbq stained a-shirt wearing 17 year old kid) and yet she's wearing excessive makeup, which signals to me right there that something is awry. Perhaps she's trying to look older. Or maybe she suffers from low self esteem and uses the make up to feel better about her looks. Or maybe she uses the heavy makeup to cover acne? Who can be certain of the reason? One thing, I think we can infer from Mr. McGraw's infatuation with her that she is quite a looker, at least to 17 year old eyes. And, I doubt seriously that he'd be so interested in her if she was dog ugly...especially at ages 17 and 22, as he noted he was in the song. I have to admit, though, she might just be wearing all of this makeup to counter the amount of sun exposure she regularly gets, and she uses the makeup in place of sunscreen - but I doubt that...I think my earlier hypotheses are correct.
Just thinking about base, powder, eye liner, eye shadow, heavy thick lipstick (possibly even lip liner, and then a glossy cover over that!) and 95 degree temperatures and 85% humidity and very little (if any) breeze...yuck!
And then to think about kissing that excessively warm skinned girl and getting heavy waxy lipstick (because young country girls probably aren't affording MAC or Urban Decay or whatever) all over your lips, and foundation/powder smeared all over your cheeks...and that hot sun beating down, and that slight headache that's already starting to form, and the ultra greasy corn dogs (with BBQ sauce?) and funnel cakes that you've already eaten making your stomach feel a little sketchy, and the kind of gross feeling you get when you eat too much fried food, and the loud noise from the fair, and the hot dusty ground caking your flip-flop covered feet in dirt, and the smell of animals and food in the air...not to mention how you have to listen to her drone on how she's going to "double major" at university in the fall and how she loves animals *and* people and how degrees in psychology and animal science will allow her to diagnose people and their pets at the same time, etc.
No thank you…
The significance of the picture of U.S. Grant at Cold Harbor, Virginia isn't obvious (unlike why they don't let you into the home locker room at Bank of America Stadium when you take the tour). When I saw Tim McGraw's last film, "Country Strong", I commented that I thought that McGraw, made up like he was, looked somewhat (in my opinion) like U.S. Grant - but not heavier graying President Grant, more like Civil War General Grant. When I think of General Grant, I think of this photo taken by Matthew Brady. The "she blinded me with makeup" bit has a double meaning referencing both Tim McGraw's blinding me with makeup in that I could only see him as U.S. Grant in the film, as well as the idea that the heavily made up girl in the song would get makeup all over the face of the boy kissing her, thereby blinding him (possibly?). I also was thinking that I enjoyed writing this post so much that it was poetry...in motion. Which led me to Thomas Dolby's 1982 hit "She Blinded Me with Science"...which is initially from where the post title came. So maybe it was a triple meaning and not just a double meaning.